Another COVID death, 8 new cases in Columbus, three in Horry; and a warning for stroke victims

Advice Gov. Roy Cooper and NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cowan repeated Thursday. See the story below.

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

 

     COVID-19 deaths now total 26 in Columbus County, confirmed coronavirus infections stand at 323.

     Horry County’s case count has risen by three, to 395.

     Though not part of the Columbus County Health Department reporting, McLeod Health is working to raise awareness of the increased risk those who have suffered strokes and heart disease face during the pandemic.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • COVID claims 26th Columbus resident, 8 new cases
  • Horry records three more coronavirus cases
  • Stroke can be a big COVID risk

COVID claims 26th Columbus resident, 8 new cases

     Another Columbus County resident has died of COVID-19 complications, the county health department reported Thursday, bringing the total to 26 in Columbus claimed by the coronavirus.

     An additional eight residents have tested positive for COVID-19, a health department news release said, bringing that total to 323.

     In the hospital at the time, the most recent claimed by the coronavirus died Wednesday, the health department reported, with no additional information to be released.

     “We offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to all of the individuals’ family and friends in this very difficult time,” the health department news release said.

     Four of the residents newly confirmed with COVID-19 are connected to positive family members, two of the cases are work-related, one case is connected with a congregate living facility in Columbus County, and the source of infection could not be found for one case,” the health department reported.

     Recoveries: Numbers of those infected by COVID-19 who have “completely recovered” continue to rise in the county, and now total 131, the health department reported.

     By Zip Code: Tabor City and Whiteville Zip Codes each recorded a new death, Zip Code data from DHHS showed Thursday, bringing to ten the total of COVID deaths in Tabor City, four in Whiteville.

     Individuals confirmed as infected with the coronavirus rose Tabor City, Clarendon, Fair Bluff, Chadbourn, and Whiteville Zip Codes. Those new cases, and case totals, are: Tabor City, four new cases, 82 the new total; Chadbourn, three new cases to 59; and Zip Codes with one new case and their new totals, Clarendon, eight; Fair Bluff, 19; Whiteville, 81.

     Hallsboro’s total number of cases changed from nine to six Thursday, those cases likely reassigned based on investigation that reveals inaccurate addresses, and likely reflected in some of the other increases.

     Prevention: “With the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continuing to rise in Columbus County, we are asking the public to take the necessary measures to stop the transmission of COVID-19,” the health department news release said.

     Recommended measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include:

  • Social distancing (e.g. avoiding crowds, self-quarantining, no mass gatherings, only going out in public when necessary)
  • Wearing a mask or face covering when in public places
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw it away, and then wash your hands
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose

     NC Totals: Statewide there are 25,412 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 100 North Carolina counties Thursday, up by 784 from Wednesday, the DHHS reported.

     There were 827 North Carolina deaths attributed to COVID-19 Thursday, 43 more than Wednesdays; with 708 current hospitalizations, that number up by six from the day before.

     CC Health Updates: Regularly updated information from the Columbus County Health Department is available on its Facebook page here.

     During a news briefing Thursday Gov. Roy Cooper and DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cowan continued to emphasize the importance of “the three W’s,” encouraging everyone to “wear” a face mask in public settings especially when social distancing is difficult, to “wait” six feet apart from others in public settings whenever possible, and to “wash” their hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

     Columbus County Health Department’s COVID-19 Call Center is also operating from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Call 910-640-6615 ext. 7045 or 7046.

Horry records three more coronavirus cases

     Three more Horry County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, that total now 395, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Thursday.

     Zip Code data reported by DHEC showed the Loris area with 78 confirmed COVID cases, one more than Wednesday, Green Sea with five, unchanged from recent days.

     Statewide there have been 10,788 positive tests returned for COVID-19 in South Carolina, up by 165 from Wednesday; with 470 related deaths, that number up by four from Wednesday.

Stroke can be a big COVID risk

     COVID-19 may be especially worrying for anyone who has experienced a stroke or heart disease, and for good reason, a McLeod Health news release says.

     “Early data from medical experts indicate that people who have suffered a stroke, heart condition, or vascular disease may be at a higher risk of complications if they are infected with COVID-19,” the news release said. “To protect yourself from exposure to the virus, frequent handwashing is essential. Avoid touching your face as much as possible and clean high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners.

     Anyone who has had a stroke, or with heart or vascular disease, should heed social distancing advice.

     “Remember to stay at least six feet away from others,” the news release said. “Wear a mask or cloth face covering when out in public where it is difficult to social distance.

     “Continue to take all medications as prescribed. There have been many false reports that some medications may increase the risk of COVID-19. There is no scientific evidence to suggest this is true. Stopping your prescribed medications may make you feel worse and require you to seek medical attention.”

    Heed the warning signs: “For anyone who experiences the signs of a stroke or heart attack call 9-1-1 immediately,” said vascular surgeon Dr. Joshua Sibille with McLeod Vascular Associates. “Don’t be afraid to seek medical help. Emergency Departments are still able to safely care for all types of patients. Getting care as soon as possible improves the chance of survival.”

     Every minute counts for stroke patients and acting F.A.S.T. can lead patients to the stroke treatments they desperately need, the experts say. The most effective stroke treatments are only available if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within the first three hours of the first symptoms.

     Many people are not aware that stroke patients may not be eligible for stroke treatments if they arrive at the hospital after the three-hour window.

     If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do this simple test:

  • F-FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • A-ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S-SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • T-TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

     A short quiz designed to test stroke knowledge is available here.

Updates

     Look for continuing coverage on local impacts from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak here and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.